ROGERS (KFSM) - Steve Hookfin is the new head coach of Heritage football, the third over the school's 12 year history. When the Arkadelphia native was hired late in the spring, he picked up on something pretty quick.
"Coach Darren Hotelling. He has a wealth of experience under different coaches," recalled Hookfin. "He’s learned things to do, things not to do. And he’s a wealth of knowledge not just for the linemen but for our whole program."
All Hotelling has done is work under nine different head coaches in the past 23 years including six in 11 years at Siloam Springs and three more in 12 seasons at Heritage.
"Work hard, do your best, be positive and develop those relationships with people around you including the coaches and most definitely the players," Hotelling said about the main lesson he's learned while coaching.
Hotelling has coached the Heritage offensive line since the Rogers district split in 2008. As a result, the veteran has become a go-to resource for the ever-changing cycle of head coaches.
"He’s probably forgotten more football than a lot of us know," smiled Hookfin. "I bounce things off him a lot. And I use him as a barometer to see where we are as compared to last couple years."
"Three coaches here, you know so it’s happened a little bit. But when I was in Siloam we went through a span of several head coaches over there," remembered Hotelling.
"When I think of Coach Hotelling I think of a hard work mentality," senior Bryan Albarran said. "He knows the conference and he’s seen a lot of fronts and it helps us out a lot."
"I just kind of use him to gauge where things are going as supposed to where they’ve been in the past," said Hookfin.
The War Eagles begin the Steve Hookfin era on August 30 and host defending 7A semifinalist Northside.